NEW YORK — Ed Koch couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate song to herald his final farewell to New York City.
Strains of “New York, New York,” the iconic ballad made famous by Frank Sinatra, rang throughout a Manhattan synagogue today as the colorful former mayor’s coffin was carried past thousands of mourners, concluding a funeral that recalled the “quintessential” New Yorker’s famous one-liners and amusing antics in the public eye.
Koch died Friday of congestive heart failure at age 88. Outside on Fifth Avenue today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayors Rudolph Giuliani and David Dinkins held their hands to theirs hearts. NYPD helicopters flew overhead and bagpipes wailed on the freezing February afternoon.
Recalling Koch as “brash and irreverent,” Bloomberg told the crowd who came to pay their respects that the man who steered the city through the 1970s and 1980s must be “beaming” from all the attention created by his death.
“No mayor, I think, has ever embodied the spirit of New York City like he did,” Bloomberg said. “And I don’t think anyone ever will.”